|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
confidences of the old soldier. Next day she received the following
episode of an epic which one might call "The French in Egypt."
During the expedition in Upper Egypt under General Desaix, a Provencal
soldier fell into the hands of the Maugrabins, and was taken by these
Arabs into the deserts beyond the falls of the Nile.
In order to place a sufficient distance between themselves and the
French army, the Maugrabins made forced marches, and only halted when
night was upon them. They camped round a well overshadowed by palm
trees under which they had previously concealed a store of provisions.
Not surmising that the notion of flight would occur to their prisoner,
they contented themselves with binding his hands, and after eating a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
leads to gaining adherents, in the other case to procuring favour.
4. The great state only wishes to unite men together and nourish them;
a small state only wishes to be received by, and to serve, the other.
Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase
62. 1. Tao has of all things the most honoured place.
No treasures give good men so rich a grace;
Bad men it guards, and doth their ill efface.
2. (Its) admirable words can purchase honour; (its) admirable deeds
can raise their performer above others. Even men who are not good are
not abandoned by it.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
in a series the memorials of the life of Socrates.
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE:
Apollodorus, who repeats to his companion the dialogue which he had heard
from Aristodemus, and had already once narrated to Glaucon.
Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, Agathon, Socrates,
Alcibiades, A Troop of Revellers.
SCENE: The House of Agathon.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:
hospitality from the owner of a little house we see on the
fringe of the forest."
"How! is there a house in the neighborhood?" asked
"Yes, sir," replied Musqueton.
"Well, let us, as you say, go and ask a dinner from the
master of that house. What is your opinion, gentlemen, and
does not M. Mouston's suggestion appear to you full of
"Oh!" said Aramis, "suppose the master is a Puritan?"
"So much the better, mordioux!" replied D'Artagnan; "if he
Twenty Years After